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Launching the Digital Platform for the Innovators’ Network to Enable Human Rights

Aug 22, 2019

Launching the Digital Platform for the Innovators’ Network to Enable Human Rights

A new Innovators’ Network for Human Rights seeks to accelerate and scale up technologies that enable and protect human rights.

Recognising the vital role the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industry can play in this endeavor, the Innovators’ Network to Enable Human Rights (INHR) will coordinate the collective capabilities of industry leaders, human rights organisations, policy makers, academia, and social innovators to create concrete technology solutions that will address some of the world’s most pressing human rights issues today.

“We see a huge amount of untapped potential when it comes to using technology for human rights,” said James Gowen, Chairman of the Board for the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSi) whose landmark research report led to the launch of the network. “The possibilities are endless, from using blockchain to ensure responsible supply chain practices to utilising data analytics to protect land rights and empowering human rights defenders with cutting-edge ICT solutions.”

As part of today’s launch, the Innovators’ Network is pleased to unveil this digital platform that will serve as a leading information and resource center that identifies trends in innovative uses of digital technology for rights, defines good practices and provides guidance and tools for the ICT industry and relevant stakeholders. The platform includes a searchable database of over 100 examples of enabling technology for rights. It shares resources,  tools and a blog providing perspectives and trends. A private platform will enable the industry and human rights defenders to build partnerships, exchange ideas and develop technology solutions to address issues in a secure and protected online area.

“The Innovators’ Network is intended to create a long-term, open and transparent dialogue with key stakeholders to promote ways to build trust in the responsible practices of the ICT industry,” said Luis Neves, Managing Director and CEO of GeSI. “As human rights defenders become aware and engaged in the industry’s efforts, pathways should open for collaboration to enhance the industry’s responsible business practices, business relationships and efforts to advance technology for human rights.”

Leading corporate sponsors of the Innovators’ Network to Enable Human Rights include Verizon, and AT&T, and Deutsche Telekom. GeSI’s Human Rights Committee helps oversee the Innovators’ Network, including Accenture, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, Samsung, T-Mobile, ITU and Liberty Global.


About GeSI: GeSI’s mission is to build a sustainable world through responsible, information and communications technology (ICT)-enabled transformation. GeSI comprises 20+ members from the world’s leading technology companies, along with dozens of partners leading efforts to advance environmental and social sustainability. GeSI is a leading source of impartial information, resources and best practices for achieving integrated social and environmental sustainability through ICT.

This year GeSI released the research report, #EnablingRights - The Transformative Potential of Digital to Enable People's Rights. This extensive report details the potential of ICT to support those working to advance civic, political, and economic rights around the world. It highlights specific digital technology solutions that are being applied to address a dozen pressing human rights challenges affecting billions of individuals. The report specifically calls for the ICT industry to work with human rights defenders to develop, promote and apply technology for human rights. Whilst acknowledging that the global ICT industry must prioritise its own responsibilities to minimise its own impacts on human rights, the report identifies a range of specific technologies that have the capability to advance and protect rights, and the related scope of pressing human rights challenges that digital technology applications could address.

The full report is available here.

Steve Rochlin

About the author

Steve Rochlin

Streve Rochlin is the GeSI Secretariat lead for the Americas region and also CEO of Impact ROI.

  • Enabling Rights
  • Events
  • INHR Launch
  • Innovators' Network to Enable Human Rights

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